Fad Gadgets 65: Rhodri tests out a steampunk guitar pedal and portable speaker

Candela Vibrophase - a candle-powered guitar effects pedal

Candela VibroPhase

We’ve all been crying out for “the world’s first candle-powered guitar effect”, and here it is: a beautiful Sterling engine mechanism, all delicate flywheels and magnets, using the power of a tea light to apply vibrato, phase, tremolo and wah. At $6,000 it’s more a piece of performance art than a viable musical tool (“If there’s a breeze you’ll need to use the vented cloche unit”) but at least the makers have a sense of humour. “Over the course of 37 years,” they say, “if you play for 10 hours a day, your VibroPhase will pay for itself in battery savings alone.”

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It’s a problem that’s faced us all, particularly in our youth: there’s a party coming up, maybe a barbecue or some kind of gathering on a beach, and we need something that’ll play deafening music for hours on end without having to be plugged in. The Soundboks, which is about the size and weight of a holiday suitcase, deals with this conundrum swiftly, efficiently and loudly: on one charge it can pump out 113dB of sound for 30 hours. Whether you consider this to be a boon for society or a massive public nuisance, you’ve got to admit that the technology is impressive.

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T8 Glove
Many ascribe the magic of Michael Jackson to the single glove he wore onstage, although whether its glittering rhinestones had any significant musical effect is debatable. The T8, however, is packed with sensors, allowing you to make all manner of pretentious mid-air gestures in order to generate sound. It comes in “double-layered, stretchy spandex” and will add a sonic dimension to your finely-honed mime routine.

See the website for more.

Rhodri Marsden